There was no mention of tears post-game in the Trail Blazers locker room. Or of "Heatles." Or of LeBron James spanking his own rear end. Not on this night. The topic on everyone's tongue in the visiting locker room of American Airlines Arena was the play of Gerald Wallace, or "Wally" as many of the Trail Blazers have taken to calling him.
But the catcalls for Wally were drown out by another moniker, one that does a much better job of conveying how Wallace played than a name shared with "Leave It To Beaver's" older brother.
"He a beast!" said LaMarcus Aldridge, butting in on a question put to Wallace regarding his play in Tuesday night's 105-96 victory against the Heat in Miami. "That's what happened!"
"Beasting" is probably the best way to describe Wallace's 22-point, 9-rebound performance Tuesday night in his seventh game as a Trail Blazer. Wallace was everywhere, making hustle plays, coming up with huge blocks on Mike Miller, slowing down LeBron James as much as humanly possible and being assertive on offense for the first time since being acquired from Charlotte. And his teammates noticed.
"Man, he was attacking," said Brandon Roy, who turned in a nice game himself playing in the second night of a back-to-back. "He was attacking them dudes. He was getting to that rim. It's so hard to stop him because we've got some good guys around him so you can't try to trap him or double team him. He's attacking that rim and LA is spacing it's like 'What do you do?''
"He's was going right at they chest. That was huge for us tonight. It's seemed like he was always doing something around the rim to keep us with the lead. That was big. That was real big. It was fun having Gerald Wallace on our team tonight and not playing against him."
The Heat were probably wishing they could say the same thing. On paper, Miami has the look of a team that should be unstoppable, but the hustle game, that dog mentality that Wallace brings, is something missing from the Heat roster. And what we're seeing may only be the beginning.
"I think I'm more comfortable in my situation and my role," said Wallace. "I think the shock is over. You realize you're in a situation here and my thing is to come out and help these guys win and make it to the playoffs. I'm just trying to let everything go and just play ball now."
When Wallace plays ball like he did Tuesday, there's no telling what the Trail Blazers might be able to do. He gives Nate McMillan the ability to throw opposing teams all kinds of different looks on both ends of the floor. And that frees up guys like Aldridge to do a bit of beasting of their own.
"He's big for us," said Aldridge. "It was a great dynamic tonight, getting to the basket, putting pressure on them, knocking down big shots for us. I think he's finding his niche in the offense. Nate's finding ways to get him shots the way he want them. He was big tonight."
So he was big, and Wally, and a beast. And he's still Crash. And according to LaMarcus, Wallace was one more thing.
Said Aldridge: "Gerald Wallace for MVP."